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Your 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s A/C Cooldown Actually Saves You Gas, Here’s How

Have you noticed that you’re A/C slows down in your 2022 Toyota RAV4 hybrid after you stop at a red light? Owners say it helps with your range and MPG.


Toyota’s hybrid technologies have changed the way we look at a conventional drive train. When the Prius came out, people had mixed emotions. Some complained about the slow acceleration, some complained about the weird humming noise, and others praised it for the phenomenal gas mileage.

However, for the early hybrid cars that were produced, a lot of their A/C compressors ran off the ICE instead of the hybrid motor. However, the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s A/C motor is connected to the battery so that it can run even when your ICE is off or not running. Here’s the kicker, Toyota purposely lets the A/C slow down when you are at a red light so that it can save energy in the battery to get the car moving from a standstill without using any gas.

Some new and prospective 2022 Toyota Hybrid owners shared this question on Facebook’s Toyota RAV4 Hybrid page, and it really opened just how the drivetrain on the Hybrid RAV4 works. Babs Stabinski, a prospective 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid buyer asked, “When driving a rav4 hybrid does the car shut off at red lights, or does AC slow down when you stop?” So, in most newer cars, to save gas the engine shuts off after an X amount of time at a red light. This is to save gas and usually, the car just starts itself again after you push the gas. Here’s what a few people said about the A/C.

Your 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s AC Cooldown Actually Saves You Gas, Here’s How

Graham Peters said, “The AC runs off the hybrid battery (roughly household voltage) so does not vary depending upon speed. It is polar bear efficient and one thing which catches people out is the amount of condensate which drains out when the car is stopped but AC running.” In layman’s terms, expect a lot of liquid to come out when you accelerate due to the A/C not being run off the ICE.

Valerie Pettiss said, “AC is the nicest coolest AC I’ve had in any car our family has had and stays nice and cool on battery and during stops.” So, people do not seem to be too annoyed by the start-stop acceleration of the 2022 Toyota Hybrid however even though the change in A/C is noticeable at stops or idling, it’s not that bad. It’s kind of like the new cars and how when you get a call through the infotainment screen, the A/C speed slows down a little bit to minimize noise. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s A/C does that too however, it does this to save battery.

So if you are in the market to buy a 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and you think the A/C is going to be weaker because of the batter, don’t. The A/C works just fine and even if it starts to slow down to save battery, you’ll still feel the coldness that it provides.

What do you think? Have you noticed a change in you’re A/C when you slow down? Let us know in the comments below.

Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for daily Toyota news.